Nick Saban: 'I don't tell players you have to invest in the team'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Wednesday July 26, 2017

Kids these days, right?

Every day, you read a story about a business struggling to figure out how to reach young people. College football coaches have to reach hundreds of them. How does Nick Saban get them to buy in? By telling them to look out for themselves.

Now, that doesn’t mean only themselves, but it’s less talk about sacrifice and more about reaching your individual potential.

“My approach has changed over the years,” Saban said on The Ryen Russillo Show. “I try to make as much I expect a player to do, relate that to how it impacts that player and his future. In other words, I make it all about them. I don’t talk about the team and tell the players you have to invest in the team. I say you have to invest in yourself.

“If you do the right thing and make the right choices and you’re a good person and work hard and graduate from school and work hard and develop a career, that’s going to benefit you the most.”

Given the vast number of players Alabama sends to the NFL, the individuals are reaching that potetial. That means national championships for the team.

“It’s going to benefit us, too. But the individuals make the team what it is,” Saban said. “This generation responds a lot better to that, because that’s what they want to know. Why am I doing this? When you say you’re doing it for the team, no, you’re not doing it for the team. You do it for yourself.

“I’m not promoting being selfish. I’m just promoting what you can gain from this.”

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to